We are seeing micro homes and suites catching headlines across the nation; it is an exciting and growing trend offering consumers multiple options for housing and downsizing. Selecting the right home building company for your needs, and for the type of new home you seek, is one of the most important decisions you'll make to ensure full value from your investment. Following are some key things to ask your builder and points to consider prior to moving ahead with your purchase:
Is your builder registered with the Home Protection Office (HPO)? In addition to your insurance provider requiring this, companies who are registered show compliance with the Homeowner Protection Act and its regulations which are in place to protect British Columbia home buyers. To be in compliance means to adhere to all laws, legal regulations and requirements.
Little House Contracting is registered under our builder's name - Okanagan Premium Home Builders.
Does your builder offer New Home Warranty? Home warranty insurance protects new homes in British Columbia against construction defects such as structural, materials, labor and building envelope. It is Canada's strongest construction defect insurance. As part of the Homeowner Protection Act the HPO administers and regulates Licensed Residential Builders to ensure they arrange for warranty insurance as required by the Act (or that an applicable exemption from providing home warranty insurance is available and has been obtained).
Builders who are not registered are still responsible for arranging home warranty insurance on the homes they sell or build under contract with an owner.
Does your home or secondary suite plans meet B.C. Building Code? The structures where people live and work must be safe. It is for this reason that building codes exist; to provide a means to safeguard life and protect the private and public welfare through regulating the design, construction practices, construction material quality, location, occupancy and maintenance of buildings and structures.
The B.C. Building Code applies to the construction of buildings, including extensions, substantial alterations, buildings undergoing a change for occupancy, and upgrading of buildings to remove an unacceptable hazard.
Before your home or secondary suite can be built, your plans must be reviewed and approved by the city. If your plans do not meet code your project will not proceed and permits will not be issued. Proceeding without permits is illegal.
What are the city zoning regulations and requirements?
Communities are not 'one size fits all'. Knowing if the type of housing you seek is allowed in the community that you live is a critical piece of knowledge prior to moving ahead with planning or making a purchase.
When in doubt, reach out to your local municipality and discuss your plans with them. They will tell you in short if your construction plans or manufactured purchase meets city requirements and what steps need to be taken if they do not. Some of the questions they will ask are included above, you may also be asked:
Location of your property?
Are you building Manufactured Homes or Stick Build to be placed on a property?
Does your home or secondary suite have a poured foundation or be placed on cinderblocks?
How many years has your contractor been in business?
How many homes have you built?
Is your builder licensed (where required) and insured?
Little House Contracting Corp. has excellent relationships with several Okanagan municipalities and extensive knowledge of zoning and regulations to help you confirm what options are available to you based on the community in which you live.
Quick Links Zoning
West Kelowna: http://gis.westkelownacity.ca/Html5Viewer/Index.html?viewer=wkpublic
City of West Kelowna: http://www.districtofwestkelowna.ca/261/Current-Planning
Lake Country: http://www.okanaganway.ca/municipal/building-development/
Little House Contracting invites you to join us to further discuss these topics and more at at one of two upcoming open house information sessions:
Saturday April 2, 9:00am - 12:00pm
Unitarian Hall Kelowna
1310 Bertram Street
Tuesday April 5, 4:00 - 7:00pm
3225 Boucherie Road West Kelowna